Review by Ola Mazzuca
Reading, England technical death metal up-and-comers Sylosis recently toured the US with Lamb of God. And what a fine time it is to do so; Obama was just re-elected and they are supporting arguably one of the most prolific bands of New American Metal. It’s no surprise after listening to their third studio release, Monolith, as the record lives up to its apt title with strong melodies and mind-blowing sweep picking.
Commencing with “Out From Below,” Sylosis nod to their roots in Bay Area thrash metal with strong elements reminiscent of Metallica’s highly emotive …And Justice For All. It’s a progressive piece that weaves chugging riffs and Josh Middleton’s guttural depth on “Fear The World.” Heavy as hell, “What Dwells Within” is full of precise soloing, paced percussion, slower in contrast to “The River,” a track that’s pure shred and designed for the pit.
The galloping instrumentation style so audible to thrash music is ever present on Monolith, but it is Sylosis’ ability to integrate gradual, ambient material in between many tracks for great transition. Take “A Dying Vine” as an example, as it begins with minor chords, and ends with an acoustic/electric coda. “Born Anew” is the star track of Monolith, pulsing venomous beats and extreme strings that energize and inspire at-home windmilling.
Finally, Monolith ends with the epic, “Enshrined.” Introduced with a sharp riff to the pummeling blasts of bass drums and distorted, palm muting that make it worthy under the label of “blackened death.” Flowing into a beautiful interlude and a solo that would make Necrophagist’s Muhammed Suiçmez smile, it ends. But if you wait ten minutes, the song chimes in again with clean vocals on a piano-laden finale that brings Monolith to tranquil closure.
Sylosis is wicked in a sense that they are able to bring the brutality. But on the other hand they’re also softies at heart that successfully intertwine progressive elements with their primary influences. This is a band to watch, and not one to miss.